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News and events in Pittsfield, Mass.

Caccaviello Announces Write-In Campaign For District Attorney
Staff Reports,
10:31AM / Wednesday, September 19, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The bell has been rung to start Round 2.    Paul Caccaviello announced on Wednesday that he intends to run a write-in campaign for district attorney. The announcement comes two weeks after he lost the Democratic primary.   Caccaviello released a statement confirming his intention to continue to seek the office of district attorney. After releasing the statement, Caccaviello did not respond to multiple messages left with him.   "For thirty years, my commitment has been to the citizens of Berkshire County. Many of the voters who have reached out to me over the last two weeks have expressed two common concerns: the importance of a

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Marijuana Businesses Eyed For Former KFC — Again
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:48AM / Wednesday, September 19, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The former Kentucky Fried Chicken on East Street is yet again eyed to be a marijuana facility.   Just two years ago the Zoning Board of Appeals denied a permit for Happy Valley Compassion Center to operate a medical marijuana facility at the vacant restaurant. Now, Heka Health is proposing to use that and the neighboring Tailored Events properties for a recreational marijuana dispensary.   The plan would be to demolish the former KFC, turning that space into a parking lot, and renovate the Tailored Events building.   "The front of this building will face west, face the parking area so it will have a different orientation to the property,"

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Inauguration 2016
by Soapbox 02:00PM / Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Kids 4 Harmony Provided The Music At The Inauguration Reception
by Soapbox 08:38PM / Monday, January 06, 2014

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow
by Soapbox 04:10PM / Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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Guest Column: The Explosion of Vaping and Youth Use
By Joyce Brewer, Guest Column
07:00PM / Tuesday, September 18, 2018

To the Editor:

Last spring, I was inundated with requests from curious and concerned parents and schools about vaping. Vaping among youth had skyrocketed. Particularly I heard questions about the use of one product, JUUL, and adults were trying to figure out how to respond. Many had no idea that vaping products contain nicotine that can damage a teenager's developing brain and lead to addiction.

As young people go back to school this fall, some schools will have developed successful strategies to address this public health issue and yet new challenges will need to be addressed as the tobacco and vaping industries continue developing new tactics to addict young people to nicotine;

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Merlins Abide at Spruces Park
By Tor Hansen, iBerkshires columnist
05:30PM / Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A closeup of a small merlin hawk.  WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Look aloft, for I hear wings stirring the air and the primeval cry of a falcon in the spruce!   Also known as pigeon hawk, a family of merlin falcons occupies a significant niche in the open meadow known for its tall Norway spruce, seeded when these 38 acres was formerly a thriving mobile home park.   While I was surveying this moist meadow for butterfly diversity, both resident and migratory, walking the dirt roads between weedy quadrants, I heard a deliberate outcry from above, and looked up to behold some large hawk-like birds swiftly flying between the tall spruces that punctuate the grassy meadow like

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Berkshire OB/GYN of BMC Continues to Expand With New Doctor
04:44PM / Tuesday, September 18, 2018

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems has appointed Dr. Margaret Gordon-Fogelson, an obstetrician/gynecologist, to the medical staff of Berkshire Medical Center and the physician staff of Berkshire OB/GYN of BMC. 

Dr. Gordon-Fogelson is accepting new patients in need of obstetrical and gynecologic care and is teamed with doctors Herbert Kantor, Robert Benner, Miriam Goldfarb, Lindsay Miller, Charles O’Neill, Kalpesh Patel, Jill Samale, Cassandra Service, Kathleen Sheridan, Michael Shreefter and Lauren Slater, nurse practitioner Sharon McLaughlin-Carvajal and certified nurse midwives Patricia Giardina, Kirsten Kowalski and Maribeth Pomerantz at Berkshire OB/GYN of

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Pittsfield Finalizes Plans For Clapp Park Renovations
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:49AM / Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Architects Rachel Loeffler, of Berkshire Design Group, and John Barry of Barry Architects presented the plans to the Parks Commission on Monday. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A final design for more than a half-million dollars worth of improvements to Clapp Park was finalized Monday.   The Parks Commission gave its stamp of approval on the design crafted by Berkshire Design Group. The design, however, isn't entirely what parks officials had been hoping for when first crafted. The full vision is now expected to be done in phases.   The city had worked with the designers on a fully re-envisioned park after receiving a $400,000 state grant but all of the elements wanted proved

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Man Arrested After Berkshire Bank Robbery Monday Morning
Staff Reports,
03:56PM / Monday, September 17, 2018

A sign on the door alerted customers that the branch is closed for the day. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield Police were able to apprehend the suspected robber of a Berkshire Bank branch within hours of the crime Monday morning.   At about 10:50 in the morning, officers responded to a reported robbery of Berkshire Bank branch on Elm Street.   Two hours later, police arrested 37-year-old Christopher Rock in connection with the crime.   Police say the suspect showed a note to a teller demanding money "in certain denominations" and then fled on foot with an undetermined amount of cash.    The suspect was identified on surveillance video and witness

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Biz Briefs: Three Local Businesses To Be Celebrated For Growth
02:30PM / Monday, September 17, 2018
Rural Small Business Initiative

Berkshire County comprises 931 square miles, making it the second-largest county in Massachusetts. Census estimates a total population of 126,313, with approximately 135 residents per square mile within this large land mass - creating many economic challenges in a mostly rural county.

On Wednesday, Sept. 19, officials from the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center will celebrate three local small businesses that have received free counseling from the MSBDC and successfully acquired SBA financing to grow their business. The three local businesses to be highlighted are: Klara's Gourmet Cookies, 195 Water

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Berkshires Beat: Berkshire Grown Sets 20th Annual Harvest Supper for Sept. 24
12:54PM / Monday, September 17, 2018
Good meal

Berkshire Grown’s 20th annual Harvest Supper puts local food at the center of the celebration on Monday, Sept. 24, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Ski Butternut in Great Barrington. More than two dozen Berkshire Grown member chefs and local beverage producers will be on-hand. The chefs will be serving a wide selection of tastings - all featuring fresh ingredients from local farms. The evening also includes a silent auction with favorites like dinner and an overnight stay at Old Inn on the Green in New Marlborough, dinner at Blue Hill New York City, a sheepskin from Mayflower Farm in South Egremont, and fruit trees from Windy Hill Farm.

This year's event is Barbara Zheutlin's

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Community Health Programs Names New Chief Communications Officer
11:50AM / Monday, September 17, 2018

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Community Health Programs has named Elizabeth "Betsy" Strickler as chief communications officer for the CHP countywide health and medical network. In this role, she will lead strategic marketing, communication and fundraising initiatives for the organization.

"Betsy is a great addition to the Community Health Programs' organization as we expand our marketing, outreach and fundraising initiatives throughout the Berkshires," said CHP CEO Lia Spiliotes. "As we continue to strengthen our brand of health care throughout the Berkshires, Betsy brings the tools to make it happen."

Strickler has worked for Berkshire region

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Gentrification Pops Up As North Berkshire Coalition Forum Topic
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:59AM / Monday, September 17, 2018

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A new buzzword appeared repeatedly throughout the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition monthly forum on Friday.

That gathering, the first of the season, was the annual "needs assessment" forum, at which people can come throw out ideas for what future coalition meetings should focus on. In an effort to organize those thoughts, this year, the Coalition asked people to categorize their ideas into "topics," "needs" or "assets."

The one topic that was repeated several times throughout the meeting, which was attended by nearly 100 people, was "gentrification."

"Gentrification," according to Merriam Webster,

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Pittsfield Couple Expanding Gravesite Business
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:25AM / Monday, September 17, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In her final days, Matthew Kudlate's grandmother mentioned that she regretted not getting to the cemetery to clean up the family plot.    She was dying of cancer, one of five losses for Kudlate in recent years, and he and his cousin went the very next day to do it. And that is when a new business idea set in.   "It was kind of a heartbreaking thing to hear your grandmother say. We went up there to clean it the next day and started joking that it would be a good business idea," Kudlate said.   Somebody visiting the grave of a loved one had asked the two if they did it professionally and Kudlate thought it might be a way to make some

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